What to expect from assessments and sessions



I’ve been referred to The Link, what happens now?


Once you’ve been referred to The Link the first appointment you will be offered is a Care Planning Meeting (CPM). At this point you might still be unsure about what our service is and what to expect from the appointment. You may have lots of questions and be feeling anxious about attending. This is completely natural and we understand this can be a difficult time. 


So what is a CPM?


A CPM is an initial meeting that you will attend with your parent(s)/carer. The main aim of a CPM is to find out more information about you and your current difficulties, and work out what form of support will best meet your needs. In the appointment you will meet with one of our practitioners who will begin by telling you a little bit more about our service and their role. You will be asked to provide some personal details, including address, date of birth and any medical conditions you may have. This is just to make sure we have up to date contact details for you and to make sure we can meet your needs.


Once we have gathered this basic information, we will move on to ask you some more detailed questions about how you are feeling at the moment and what you are struggling with. This section of the CPM can be quite in-depth. We will ask questions about your current situation, your past, your family history and even your development from when you were born. At times it may feel like we are being a bit intrusive, the reason we ask all these questions is because the more information we have about you, the more we can understand your current difficulties and work out what form of support will best meet your needs.


Whilst it is really important for us to talk to both you and your parent/carer, we understand that sometimes you may find it easier to speak about your feelings on your own. Therefore we can split the CPM and speak to you both separately if this is something you’d prefer. At the end of the CPM we will let you know what type of support we think will best meet your needs and if you agree you will need to fill in some consent forms. Sometimes there is a little bit of a wait between CPM and starting sessions, if you start to struggle during this wait you can call our duty line on a Wednesday between 2 and 4pm. 



I’ve been allocated a worker, what now?


Once you’re at the top of the waiting list your worker will be in touch over the phone to introduce themselves and you will receive a letter in the post with your appointment times on. Your appointments will either take place at school, or one of our locations depending on where you want your sessions to take place. To start with you will be offered 6 sessions and a review. Your sessions will be 1 hour per week for 6 weeks.


Within your initial sessions you will spend some time getting to know your worker and starting to build a trusting relationship with them. All your sessions are confidential, this means that whatever you and your worker discuss is private between the 2 of you. The only time information may need to be shared is if the worker is worried about your safety or someone else’s safety. If your worker is going to do this, he/she will let you know. We understand that it can be difficult to open up to someone new about your feelings straight away so don’t worry if it takes you a little while to feel comfortable. You and your worker will explore your current difficulties and develop an understanding of where your difficulties have come from and what keeps them going. This may look a little different depending on what type of support you have been offered, for example if you are doing art therapy you may do this through art work. 


Once you have completed your first 6 sessions you will then have a review meeting which your parent/carer will attend. In the review meeting you will talk about what you have learnt in your first 6 sessions and anything that has gone well, or not so well. Your parent/carer will also have a chance to share any concerns they might have. From the review it will be decided if you need more sessions, and if you do another 6 will be arranged.   



When will my sessions end?


Within your sessions you and your worker will set some goals around what you hope to achieve. You will regularly score these goals and when you feel your goals have been met you and your worker will have a chat about starting to bring your sessions to an end. Usually you and your worker will create something for you to keep which includes everything you have learnt in your sessions. This may be a booklet or a poster. This will help remind you of all the helpful things you can do if you start to struggle again in the future.


Once your sessions are ready to end a final review has been completed your worker will write a discharge report. This report will give an outline of the work you have completed from start to finish and will be sent to your parent/carer and the person who referred you for support. But don’t worry, as mentioned already sessions are confidential so we won't share anything you don’t want us to in the discharge report, unless it’s something we have to share to keep you or someone else safe! If you need support again in the future and you are not finding that your booklet is helping, you can get a referral back into the service for some more support, or even give us a call on our duty line (Wednesdays 2-4) for some advice. 


Coming for therapeutic support can be a scary time and we understand that it is not always easy to open up to someone you don’t know. But please remember that we are here to help, not make judgements. If at any time you feel like sessions are not helping or working for you, please let us know. We would prefer to know then we can make adjustments according to your needs!



Need any more advice?

If you know a young person who may benefit from support with our service, please feel free to call us on our duty line (Wednesdays between 2-4pm) on 01642 505580 to discuss further.


We are able to offer helpful tips or advice or signpost you to an appropriate service or referral.